High Blood Pressure in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

The disease can affect all cats but is most often seen in individuals over 10 years.

High blood pressure rarely causes any visible symptoms, but increases the risk of diseases of the circulation and effects on the kidneys.

Blood pressure

The cat’s blood pressure depends on how much force the heart has when it pumps blood, and how much resistance there is in the blood vessels. An increased blood pressure (hypertension) means that the blood is forced through the blood vessels with a higher pressure than normal.

Blood pressure is indicated by two digits. The first number is the systolic pressure.

This is the pressure that occurs in the arteries as the heart contracts, squeezing the blood out of the body. The second number is the diastolic pressure, which is the pressure present in the arteries, while the heart is relaxed between two contractions and filled with blood.

Blood pressure varies from day to day, but also during the day. The pressure is lowest when the cat is asleep and increases slightly when it is active.

A normal blood pressure in cats is about 130/75 mmHg.


There are many causes of high blood pressure.

It can be a consequence of other diseases, such as bad kidneys, certain hormonal diseases and diabetes

High blood pressure is sometimes diagnosed without finding the cause.

Sometimes the cat gets high blood pressure just by visiting the clinic, and should not be confused with illness.

Consequences of high blood pressure in cats

Some organs and tissues are more sensitive to high blood pressure than others.

The most sensitive are the eyes, kidneys, heart / circulatory system and brain.

The higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of harmful consequences.


The symptoms of high blood pressure are related to the effect the pressure has had on the body’s organs.

Decreased vision, increased thirst and urination, signs of kidney failure (vomiting, decreased appetite and weight loss), signs of heart failure (rapid breathing and collapse), nosebleeds and neurological symptoms (seizures, unstable hind legs and collapse) are all signs that the organs are affected of blood pressure, or that organ failure has caused increased blood pressure.


Blood pressure is measured by placing an inflatable cuff around the leg or tail. It can be difficult to measure the blood pressure of an awake cat, even if it is calm. Only the transport to the clinic can stress the cat so the blood pressure measurement is not credible.

In addition, you should touch the cat as little as possible while measuring the pressure. Sometimes the cat can be completely calm after a little time at the vet, but it usually requires a little patience to get a correct measurement. Usually several measurements are required.


The underlying cause of high blood pressure must be diagnosed and treated in order for the treatment to be long-term.

Blood pressure can be lowered and often, but not always, normalized with medication, which the cat should often have for life.

Blood pressure should be checked regularly, as well as any underlying causes.

Sometimes it is necessary to have a specially adapted diet, which takes into account the individual needs of the animal.


The prognosis is completely dependent on the underlying cause. If the disease is treatable and the blood pressure can be controlled with the help of medication, the cat can live a normal life. If the cat is overweight, weight loss is often recommended.

Leave a Comment